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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Blast From The Past – Stranraer

Scottish Second Division

24th April 1971

Partick Thistle 3 Stranraer 0

This was the 36th and final match of a triumphant 2nd Division league campaign. Of the eighteen home fixtures Thistle won sixteen and drew two and there was never the remotest possibility of losing this chosen fixture. Over the last half-century the men from Stair Park have only appeared at Firhill on eight occasions.

The picture on the front cover shows what a delight it was to win the championship. What nobody could have imagined in their wildest dreams was the fact that six months down the line we would be celebrating a magnificent League Cup triumph at Hampden Park.

What about the personnel? How many of those who beat Stranraer convincingly (in the end), played in the Hampden final? Well, ten to be precise if we include Johnny Gibson, who was a substitute on that famous day, and Alex Forsyth, who occupied the bench in our featured game until replacing Bobby Lawrie around the hour mark. Charlie Smith and Donnie McKinnon featured in the league match but missed out on Thistle’s greatest triumph for decades, while Jackie Campbell came into the team at centre-half, and Hugh Strachan at left-half.

Stranraer proved to be stubborn opposition and hadn’t come to Firhill to make up the numbers. In fact, it took a penalty kick on 42 minutes, converted by Jimmy Bone, to set Thistle on their way. Further goals followed on 47 and 75 minutes, both scored ironically, by Stranraer man Frank Coulston, obviously reluctant to be seen as doing the visitors any favours. In the end, it proved to be a comfortable enough win for Thistle.

Only two points were dropped in 18 home league games, with Dumbarton and Arbroath the only teams to escaper with any points. You will see from the photograph that in the match against the men from Gayfield, Thistle wore white jerseys while Arbroath were in their traditional maroon.

In the cover picture you will also see Ian Reid or at least his head to be more precise, and to the left of the front row, Robert Gray (ex-Alloa Athletic). One could not fail to mention two of Thistle’s all-time greats, Jackie Husband and David McParland.

What a price to pay for a programme – 2 and a half pence! – Inflation outstripping Jimmy Walker!

Incidentally, Stranraer’s player-coach was none other than Dan McLindon who will be remembered by Thistle supporters of a certain age.

Robert R.

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